Burma Army Uses Combat helicopters In Northern Shan State

After meeting for negotiations the Army shelled members of the Northern Alliance.

By Network Media Group

March 29, 2019

The Burma Army (Tatmadaw) used combat helicopters to attack Northern Alliance forces in northern Shan State despite a ceasefire effective in the area.

“After they declared a unilateral ceasefire in 5 military command regions there have been 14 clashes between the Burma army and our forces,” said Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) Maj Mai Aik Kyaw.

After meeting with the government and Burma Army last week in Naypyidaw, fighting escalated in Namtu township with Shan State Progressive Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA) and TNLA, both members of Northern Alliance.

Representatives from the government’s National Reconciliation and Peace Center and the Myanmar Army met with non-signatories of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA). A joint statement was signed agreeing to reduce hostilities and meet for further negotiations.

After several days of fighting the army brought in combat helicopters, Aik Kyaw said.

“Two helicopter gunships attacked Northern Alliance forces at around 9:30 am on March 27. Namtu-based LIB-324 (Burma Army) also fired heavy artillery.”

During air and ground strikes locals reported that several homes caught fire after shells landed in a village.

“They shot at Pan Thapyae, Nam Tawng hill and into Mongmu village. They also indiscriminately opened fire at our soldiers. I heard villagers fled during the conflict but don’t have too much information about this,” Aik Kyaw said.

“Some villagers fled to a monastery…Luckily, nobody was hurt in the clashes,” said a local from Namtu. The local told NMG two houses were destroyed from fighting.

“The main problem is their military offensives,” Aik Kyaw said. “They should stop all military operations while meeting for negotiations…If clashes continue, there will be problems during negotiations.”

The Burma Army hasn’t publicly acknowledged fighting in Namtu township or using combat helicopters against the non-NCA signatories.